Hope you are all well!
I am someone who struggles with body confidence, and when I say struggle I mean there has been so many time where I have cried myself silly just due to those insecurities. From my weight to my uneven complexion, to my boobs (mum, don’t kill me), I feel like there is always something I am self-conscious about. Lately, my weight has been such a big issue. If you know me you’ll know I love the gym, and because of my schedule the last few months, it has been impossible. So I have gained a couple pounds if we are being nice. However, one person that has really made me realise my current problem is only temporary is Lydia.
Hear her story from her yourself…
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, my name is Lydia, I’m 24 years old and I’m currently a student nurse studying in London. I think the 3 best words to describe myself are compassionate, funny (even when I’m not trying to be) and adaptable. I’m quite boring so I don’t really do much for fun, going to the gym is the most fun I have these days lol.
2. What is something you have struggled with?
I have struggled A LOT with confidence and only now trying to work on it. When I was younger I didn’t really have anyone to tell me to stop saying negative things about myself so I would say these things to myself as a way of making myself get used to horrible words others would say to me. I did not find myself conventionally beautiful, and would often punish myself by calling myself all sorts of names and in turn slipping into a state of depression. I would even go on social media and tweet whatever I was thinking at the particular time which would often be about my looks. Some people thought I was just attention seeking, but it was a way of me offloading some stress because bottling it in made me feel even more depressed.
3. How did this make you feel?
I remember I was as young as 9 when I started keeping a diary just to write horrible stuff about myself. My parents hardly knew about it as they are African and I guess they would not have understood why I felt such a way. I got so used to insulting myself that it followed me through secondary school, college and even university. I would hate to be around friends for too long because I felt singled out, my friends are beautiful and I felt like I was “ugly”. They would get a lot more attention than I did, which was understandable. My self-confidence was so bad that I did not want to make eye contact with guys, let alone talk to them. I did not even realise I had a problem till when a guy I liked in college rejected me because he said I had “low self-esteem”. I mean, people had told me before that particular day that I needed to work on my confidence, but I never understood why they were so concerned. I would even get angry that they were trying to tell me I’m “beautiful”, thinking they were lying. Receiving compliments was a problem, I used to get so upset if someone said I was pretty because I felt like they were trying to patronise me. I just wish I had understood the concept of self-confidence from a young age because I feel I would have been a whole different person.
4. What did you do to overcome this?
If I was to tell you that I have overcome this obstacle, I would be lying to you. However, I see a lot of changes in myself that I never thought I would see. I don’t argue with people when they compliment me, I am more sociable than I was before as I have tried to adopt this “I am beautiful, who can tell me otherwise” mentality and it has already shown it benefits. I don’t look around the room to find someone to compare myself with and I smile a lot more too.
My weight was one of the things holding me back from being great. Last year I remember seeing a picture of a social media personality and she looked so good. I don’t know why that particular picture had a such a major effect on me because I have seen other beautiful pictures. This one picture really did something to me! I started a low carb diet and started going to the gym 5-6 times a week. And after SEVERAL attempts to lose weight, I gradually started to see my body change and also my whole persona. I won’t lie and say the journey was easy, however, I feel like I completed it in a week, that’s how fast time has flown by. Just because of this I have been able to make more friends. So now, I am just going to keep going and make sure I stay focused on my goal!
5. What advice would you give to someone who felt the way you did?
Having low self-esteem and a lack of confidence can be very damaging and can mess up a lot of good things. I don’t know what the most appropriate advice would be for me to give but I want to be truthful and say I’d hate for anyone to feel the way I felt. I wouldn’t wish it on an enemy.
- If you do ever feel low about yourself, talk to people around you. I wish I did because that way I wouldn’t have bottled so many things up as much as I did.
- Something I do a lot more now is looking in the mirror and being proud of my achievements, telling myself that I am beautiful till I eventually believe it.
- If you’re trying to lose weight, start following fitness accounts to stay motivated, keep a diary writing all your weekly achievements, don’t write anything negative.
- Write about what you did right and write about how you will move forward to become and look better!
Like I said, I have not fully overcome it but I’m in a much better place now than I was the last 15 years of my life.
END OF INTERVIEW
I think an important message to take here is that everything you are going through is a journey, things CAN get better. These Tears to Laughter Stories are not meant to show you perfect people but REAL people. You might not be exactly where you want to be, but you do not have to be where you were. Appreciate the little accomplishments along the journey.
YOU CAN DO IT!
Sis & Lydia x